Definition of willful in US English:

willful

(also wilful)

adjective

US
  • 1(of an immoral or illegal act or omission) intentional; deliberate.

    ‘willful acts of damage’
    • ‘She was found not guilty of a third charge of wilful neglect.’
    • ‘Even when others act where you have not done so, you continue with your willful neglect in the face of crisis and misery.’
    • ‘This willful act was in direct violation of Article 5 of the United Nations Convention on children.’
    • ‘Is there a danger of much being lost or obscured from either willful or unintentional neglect?’
    • ‘Well, clearly, to be murder in the first degree in California, it has to be willful, deliberate or premeditated.’
    • ‘Several were notorious for their willful neglect of logistic matters.’
    • ‘There is no greater betrayal than to impoverish a generation yet unborn by willful acts of amnesia.’
    • ‘He also criticised the failure of the Government to give full effect to the Children's Act 2001 which deals with willful neglect by parents.’
    • ‘Secondly, the party disobeying the contempt order must do so in a deliberate and willful fashion in order to satisfy the criminal nature of the contempt proceedings.’
    • ‘We control universal processes, as a willful act of mankind, through these discoveries.’
    • ‘They must now prepare for a criminal trial within months, long after they were charged with wilful neglect in public office.’
    • ‘This is a financial scandal of the highest order - a wilful, calculated and entirely deliberate squandering of other people's money.’
    • ‘In Brian's life, there was no unbelief or willful rebellion or willful acts of disobedience.’
    • ‘She stated that the unauthorized access of the voicemail system was willful and intentional.’
    • ‘One cannot justify the willful and callous act of deliberately choosing to remove the shells of conscious crabs and allowing the animals to writhe in a hot pan, cooking them to death as they struggle.’
    • ‘But he is given immunity for the deliberate, wilful telling of a falsehood.’
    • ‘Well, I am not the sort of person to encourage illegal activity, but in the face of such wilful neglect and destructiveness, flying pickets would not seem out of place.’
    • ‘They depict revolutions as willful acts of rebellion that inevitably produce terrible results because of the evil inherent in the very idea of revolution.’
    • ‘As the article pointed out, a pet was ‘murdered,’ killed by wilful and deliberate action.’
    • ‘It means wilful act or omission, negligent act or omission, or malicious act or omission.’
    deliberate, intentional, intended, done on purpose, premeditated, planned, calculated, purposeful, conscious, knowing
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Having or showing a stubborn and determined intention to do as one wants, regardless of the consequences or effects.
      ‘the pettish, willful side of him’
      • ‘Here's the advice that helped me raise two willful and determined kids into delightful and productive adults.’
      • ‘Stubborn, willful, bold and determined, natives born into this combination all take themselves and their actions very seriously.’
      • ‘As the younger became more wilful and wayward, making the most of her privileged status, the elder became more withdrawn, worried about her destiny.’
      • ‘‘I was determined, wilful, quietly making my own decisions and forging my own path,’ she says.’
      • ‘Stubborn and willful were among the many words that described the beautiful woman in front of him.’
      • ‘They can also be willful, arrogant and stubborn.’
      • ‘Is it her willful, contrary nature that comes out?’
      • ‘It is the child of a restaurant (rather than an outlet of a company) and is thus wilful, original and headstrong as well as undeniably related.’
      • ‘We can take the Middle Path and preserve our freedom without acting like stubborn and willful children every time we are asked to obey the rules.’
      • ‘Stubbornly self-righteous and willful, Higgins demonstrates his ideals in his brazen disregard for the Victorian rules of conduct.’
      • ‘She's willful, quiet, and stubborn, but, above all, passionate.’
      • ‘I laughed at loud at her stubborn and willful spirit.’
      • ‘All describe Scorpio as intense, wilful and determined, yet most of our Scorpios are classed as Librans by the siderealists!’
      • ‘The newly married couple was very happy, although many people warned the kindly man about the willful and headstrong nature of his new step-daughter.’
      • ‘It seems his muse, once so pliable, has become perverse and wilful: I commiserate.’
      • ‘Dash is willful and disobedient because he's bored - he wants to use his super-speed to excel in sports.’
      • ‘First there is the murder of one of the police deputies and then, even more alarmingly, the arrival of her willful and wayward daughter.’
      • ‘Alice had been willful and headstrong practically from birth.’
      • ‘He is willful and greatly determined, stubborn and close-minded, but a born leader.’
      • ‘For years they give you not a jot of trouble, then, wham, they turn into wilful risk-takers who fall in love with little regard for the consequences.’
      headstrong, self-willed, strong-willed, with a will of one's own, determined to have one's own way
      View synonyms

Origin

Middle English: from the noun will + -ful.

Pronunciation

willful

/ˈwɪlfəl//ˈwilfəl/